CRIPPLE CREEK, Colo. – Testimony in the Patrick Frazee murder trial wrapped up on Friday, with the bombshell evidence of allegations that Frazee asked a former jailhouse inmate to kill witnesses in the case, including Krystal Lee Kenney.
But the revelation of the former inmate's testimony – and the 17 handwritten letters prosecutors said were exchanged between him and Frazee – was just one of many key moments over two weeks of the trial.
There was testimony from Kenney, who detailed Frazee's alleged plans to kill his 29-year-old fiancee, Kelsey Berreth; from the lead Colorado Bureau of Investigation agent Gregg Slater, who was also among the witnesses Frazee allegedly wanted dead; and from crime scene analysts, who gave detailed reports about the blood and DNA evidence tested in the case.
Closing arguments will be made Monday before the jury begins deliberation.
Frazee, 33, of Florissant, is accused of murdering Berreth on Thanksgiving Day 2018 in Woodland Park. He is also accused of soliciting Kenney, an Idaho resident whom he had dated, to help him carry out the murder.
He faces eight charges, including first-degree murder, tampering with a deceased body and solicitation. Fourth Judicial District Judge Scott Sells on Friday ruled that the jury could also convict Frazee f second-degree murder or manslaughter. While he pleaded not guilty to the charges, Kenney took a plea deal, pleading guilty to a tampering charge and agreeing to testify at Frazee's trial.
Read Denver7's full coverage from every day of the trial:
Day 1 (Nov. 1, 2019): Prosecutor calls Patrick Frazee 'calculated manipulator,' but defense says 'facts don't make sense'
Day 2 (Nov. 4, 2019): Patrick Frazee murder trial: Family, police describe suspicions after Kelsey Berreth’s disappearance
Day 3 (Nov. 5, 2019): Patrick Frazee trial: Defense questions timeline, lack of black tote in surveillance photos
Day 4 (Nov. 6, 2019): Patrick Frazee murder trial: Krystal Kenney recounts cleanup of Kelsey Berreth murder scene
Day 5 (Nov. 7, 2019): Patrick Frazee murder trial: Defense questions why Kenney never alerted anyone to murder plot
Day 6 (Nov. 8, 2019): Patrick Frazee murder trial: ‘I figured out a way to kill her,' friend testifies Frazee told him
Day 7 (Nov. 12, 2019): Patrick Frazee murder trial: Frazee's friend testified he said Berreth was 'never coming back'
Day 8 (Nov. 13, 2019): Patrick Frazee murder trial: Berreth's coworkers describe her as quiet, sweet, loving to her newborn
Day 9 (Nov. 14, 2019): Frazee trial: CBI agent says he doesn't know where investigation would be without Kenney's testimony
Day 10 (Nov. 15, 2019): Patrick Frazee murder trial: Ex-inmate says Frazee asked him to kill witnesses, including Kenney
Here are 10 key moments from the last two weeks of trial, in order of when they happened.
Kenney testifies about multiple plans to kill Berreth
During Kenney's testimony, her and prosecutors outlined how Frazee allegedly plotted multiple ways to kill Berreth.
In October 2018, he asked Kenney, a nurse, what would happen if someone took too much sleep aid or other drugs, prosecutors said. Around this time, Kenney said she talked with Frazee, who told her that Berreth liked caramel macchiatos and that she should spike one with a drug cocktail so "we can end this."
“People go missing every day. … She had gone to an alcohol and drug rehab facility. It wouldn’t be out of the ordinary,” she testified Frazee told her, claiming Berreth had been to rehab in August.
Kenney went to Berreth's home with a coffee – making small talk about finding a dog – but didn't poison the drink.
Frazee told Kenney that he still needed the "problem" taken care of, claiming Berreth was allegedly abusing their daughter.
When Kenney returned to Colorado around mid-October, she said Frazee grabbed a pipe, handed it to her and said to make sure there wasn’t a lot of blood by hitting Berreth in the back of her head.
She went to Berreth’s townhome and sat there for a moment, she testified. When she opened her car door, a dog barked, so she said she drove back to the Frazee Ranch, dropped off the pipe and slept in a gas station parking lot.
Frazee would then tell Kenney that she had one more chance, asking her if she had a bat and telling her to "swing away," Kenney testified. Again Kenney went to Berreth's home, while Berreth and Frazee exchanged their daughter elsewhere. She said she feared "it was going to be her or me," but Kenney said she drove back to Florissant and told Frazee she could not kill Berreth.
Kenney said Frazee threatened her and said that if anything happened to his daughter, it would be her fault. She said he told her to put Berreth’s body in a garbage can, take her to Idaho and “figure something out.”
Kenney testifies about the cleanup
Kenney went back to Idaho. Several weeks later, on Thanksgiving Day, she said Frazee called her several times and sounded rattled.
"He told me I had a mess to clean up," Kenney said.
She asked him about the mess, she said, and he asked her how soon she could get to Colorado, but she said she wasn’t sure. At the time, Kenney said she believed that Frazee had either killed Berreth or was setting her up.
Kenney changed her shift at work and swapped cars with a friend. Then she drove 12 hours to Colorado, arriving in Florissant about 6:30 a.m. on Nov. 24.
Along the way, Kenney said, she talked with Frazee on the phone, and he told her she had a lot of blood to clean up. Kenney arrived in Teller County and said Frazee left the keys to Berreth's townhome on his gate and gave her instructions on what to clean inside the home.
Kenney said she opened the door and "saw a lot of blood" on the living room floor and the walls of the townhome.
“It wasn’t like a can of paint thrown on the wall,” she said. “It was like if you took a paintbrush and flicked paint on the wall.”
Kenney said she put on a painter's suit and rubber gloves and covered her shoes and hair and started to clean. She followed bloody footprints up the stairs, she said, and found the candles that Frazee had mentioned to clean. Kenney described the footprints as being larger in size and appearing to be from boots.
She said they were all over the kitchen, near the bedroom and in the bathroom.
After cleaning as much as she could, she said the floor was the last area to be addressed. She said it took four hours to clean the whole place.
“I left little spots so that somebody would see it and then it would raise suspicion or question on what happened,” Kenney told the court, adding that she hoped police would find the blood.
When she finished, she said she met up with Frazee and he asked her, "Did you get it done?"
Kenney said she replied, “I did the best I could do,” to which Frazee allegedly responded, “You better hope you did because our lives depend on it.”
Kenney: Frazee detailed the alleged murder
Frazee then discussed details of the murder, Kenney testified.
“He told me how hard it was to eat Thanksgiving dinner with my family when the mother of your child is in a tote in the back of your truck,” Kenney said in court.
She said that Frazee told her he had brought a baseball bat in under his sweater and tied the other sweater around Berreth’s eyes to play a “guess the scent” game with candles.
She testified that Frazee told her he “swung away” but called the method “inhumane” and said in the future he would stick to “normal weapons.” She said that he told her he brought a tote in from the back of the truck after he killed Berreth and put the bat inside, then washed his pants and tried to clean up.
Frazee's friend says he told him 'I found a way to kill her'
Joseph Moore, a longtime friend of Frazee's and a fellow cattle rancher, testified that in April 2018 he asked Frazee how things were going with “Kaylee Jo’s mom,” which Moore said was how Frazee referred to Berreth.
“He said, ‘I figured out a way to kill her,’” Moore testified, “And I went, ‘Don’t even talk about things like that. Get that s**t out of your head.’ He just kind of grinned and said, ‘No body, no crime, right?'”
Moore said he told Frazee, again, to “get that s**t out of your head.”
During that summer, Moore said, Frazee told him about how he had people spying on or watching Berreth and taking pictures of her because he said he wanted to sue her for custody of Kaylee.
After Berreth disappeared, Moore and Frazee continued to talk before Frazee was arrested.
“He couldn’t understand what this whole big thing was all about,” Moore said. “It made no sense to him. (He said) ‘People go missing every day all across the United States and this is national news. It’s coast-to-coast coverage. I don’t even understand why there is such a big deal over this.’”
Moore replied that a white, beautiful, young mother had gone missing, so it was what the media cared about.
He said Frazee’s response was: “Man, if I had known it would have blown up this big, I never would have —” and didn’t finish sentence.
Analysis of blood found at Berreth's home
In the analysis of the blood found on the side of Berreth's bath tub, Caitlin Rogers, a CBI forensic scientist, said her final conclusion, which came on July 10, showed that it was a mixture of two people's DNA. But the blood was much more likely — 46 septillion times more likely — to be Berreth and an unknown individual than two unknown individual, she said.
Rogers also said it was 100,000 times more likely to be Gorney and an unknown person than two unknown people.
When Viehman asked if it was fair to say Berreth was the main contributor to this blood spot, Rogers said yes.
The blood sample from the bathroom toilet was at least 108 septillion times more likely to be from Berreth than someone else, Rogers testified. All of the genetic material in the single-source sample was consistent with Berreth, Rogers said.
Partial tooth on Frazee's property had female human DNA
Prosecutors then asked Rogers about one of two possible tooth fragments, both of which appeared to have come from where Frazee had allegedly burned Berreth's body. A picture of one was shown on the slideshow in court. It appeared about half a centimeter wide.
Rogers said she analyzed the fragment, which tested negative for blood and saliva. But a DNA test detected female human DNA, Rogers said. She tried to develop a DNA profile from the fragment, but there wasn't enough DNA available. The remainder of the tooth was sent to the FBI.
Agent: Doesn't know where case would be without Kenney testimony
When asked where the investigation would be without Kenney's testimony, lead Colorado Bureau of Investigation agent Gregg Slater responded: "I honestly don't know."
He said before Kenney's Dec. 20 interview — when she spilled her testimony to law enforcement and investigators — Slater believed something had happened in Berreth's bathroom and home, but that was it. He said they didn't know about the tote, burn put, Nash Ranch or Frazee and Kenney's meet-ups at a Florissant Conoco on Nov. 24. They did, however, know that Berreth's and Frazee's phones had traveled together around Thanksgiving.
“We didn’t know anything other than Berreth was missing, her belongings were missing... her behavior was off,” Slater said.
When Kenney did talk, Slater said she provided the investigators with information about the black tote container, in which Berreth's body was allegedly burned; the Nash Ranch, where Frazee allegedly kept the black tote; and the area where the tote was allegedly burned on Frazee's property.
Records tracked Berreth's phone and Kenney's phone together
Kevin Hoyland – a cell phone expert with the FBI who helped track the cell phone activity of Frazee, Berreth and Kenney – testified that cell phone records showed that Kenney's phone moved from Idaho to Colorado on Nov. 23, arrived in Colorado on Nov. 24 and left later that day, arriving back in Idaho on Nov. 25.
On her way to Colorado, Kenney's phone received six calls from Frazee's landline phone, totaling 160 minutes of talk time.
In Thursday's testimony, Hoyland said Berreth's phone showed a lot of activity near Gooding, Idaho, on Nov. 25. Her phone texted Frazee at 5:11 p.m. and got a response at 5:20 p.m. Frazee called her phone at 5:20 p.m. and 5:21 p.m. but the calls went straight to voicemail. Those calls were the last activity from Berreth's phone.
Analyst: Blood stains consistent with someone getting hit by bat 10-15 times
Jonathyn Priest, a former Denver police officer who now specializes as an expert in blood stain pattern analysis, testified that the blood stains found inside Berreth's townhome matched what he'd expect to find in a case of a bloodied person getting struck repeatedly by a baseball bat. He said the victim in this case — he didn't name Berreth — could have been hit 10 to 15 times. Bloody footprints discovered around Berreth's home showed that a person was likely stepping in a "pool of blood" while they walked around, Priest said.
“People aren’t easy to kill," he said. "They’re very resilient. And beatings are nasty in that they don’t really have the effect that they have on television.”
Letters, former inmate: Frazee wanted witnesses dead
Prosecutors showed 17 different letters that a witness, who's a former inmate and convicted felon, said he exchanged with Frazee, who was in the same jail. The man is on probation now. In their passed notes, Frazee asked the man to kill witnesses — Kenney, Michelle Stein (Kenney’s friend in Idaho), John Moore (Frazee's friend who previously testified), Wendi Clark (Moore’s significant other) and lead CBI Agent Gregg Slater — and described where they live now and what they look like. In a testimony, Slater confirmed the descriptions of each person and their places of residences were all accurate.
In one letter, Frazee allegedly wrote he’d “really like to see Kenney with a bullet in her head.”
In another letter, he allegedly wrote: “I’m excited if we can pull this off — only thing better would be if Krystal sent someone a text from her phone confessing and telling the truth that I didn’t have anything to do with it at all. Gregg Slater and all five disappear," referencing Kenney's family, including her children and Chad Lee, and Stein.
Most of the letters had instructions to flush the bathroom paper towels once the former inmate had read the message.
Closing arguments are expected to begin and finish Monday, followed by the jury deliberation.